Sachin Pens Heartfelt Tribute to Departed Mentor Ramakant Achrekar
The man who shaped one of the greatest batsmen cricket has ever seen is no more.
Of all the people to have been touched by the mentorship of Ramakant Achrekar – and there were thousands – none owed a greater debt of gratitude than one Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, who was taken in by the coach at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park as a teenager.
Tendulkar would go on to rewrite the record books in the sport, but remembered Achrekar through his climb to the summit of modern-day batsmanship.
The Master Blaster sent out an emotional release after the passing of his childhood coach in Mumbai on Wednesday, 2 January, at the age of 86.
Achrekar’s contribution to cricket in Mumbai – as indeed all over the country – was honoured with the Dronacharya award in 1990, and the Padma Shri in 2010.
In his statement, Tendulkar thanked his mentor for teaching him the ‘ABCD of cricket’, and hoped for Achrekar to take his tutorial to the heavens above:
“Last month, I met sir along with some of his students and spent some time together. We shared a laugh as we remembered the old times. Achrekar sir taught us the virtues of playing straight and living straight. Thank you for making us a part of your life and enriching us with your coaching manual. Well played, sir, and may you coach more wherever you are.”Sachin Tendulkar, on Ramakant Achrekar’s demise
Over the years, Tendulkar has made several references to Achrekar, paying tribute to his coach for contributing to the legend he would come to be known as.
Born in 1932, Achrekar had a fledgling playing career, taking the field in only one first-class match for all-India State Bank against Hyderabad in 1963/64, but built a burgeoning reputation as a coach to thousands of budding cricketers spanning generations at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park.